STAR WARS

Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Apple’s big event, Deutsche Bank chiefs resign, another MERS death, sword-fighting robots

What to watch for today

Apple unveils its answer to Spotify… The company’s weeklong developer conference kicks off today in San Francisco. One of the announcements, confirmed ahead of time by Sony Music’s chief, will be a new streaming music app. (Here’s how to watch the event live).

…and updates its software. Apple is also expected to announce new versions of Mac OS for personal computers, iOS for iPhones and iPads, and a new watchOS for its wearable. New features could lead to more apps that can be enjoyed without even opening them. But no Apple TV updates are now expected.

The second day of the G7 summit. German chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for environmental commitments, but Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, Greece’s ailing economy, and public health are expected to dominate the agenda.

GE sells its huge private-equity lending unit. The buyer of about $11 billion worth of assets is Canada’s largest pension fund, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). General Electric has been trying to sell off most of GE Capital to get out of banking.

US consumer expectations. The New York Fed releases its monthly report on sentiments about inflation, job prospects, and future spending. The last survey showed a modest rise in wages and expectations of soft inflation due to cheaper gas prices.

Over the weekend

Deutsche Bank’s chiefs abruptly resigned. The German lender’s co-CEOs, Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, are stepping down in phases: Jain will leave on June 30, and Fitschen will depart next year. John Cryan, a member of the bank’s supervisory board and the former chief financial officer of UBS, will take over. Shares rose 8% at market open.

South Korea reported a sixth MERS death. A man in his Eighties died from the disease in Daejeon, around 140 km (87 miles) from Seoul, and 23 others were confirmed to have contracted the illness on Sunday. That brings the total number of sufferers in South Korea to 87; the country’s health minister “cautiously” predicted that the spread would peak today.

Monsanto failed to bring Syngenta to the table. The world’s largest seed company offered the Switzerland-based chemical and seed business $2 billion in the event that its proposed $45-billion takeover deal doesn’t work out. Syngenta brushed off the break-up fee, adding that none of the rest of Monsanto’s offer had changed.

Turkey’s ruling party was rebuked by voters… President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party won 41% of votes in a general election, meaning it has to find a coalition partner for the first time since gaining power 13 years ago. The Republican People’s Party, which promised massive infrastructure projects, won the second-highest share of the votes; a pro-Kurdistan party also won seats for the first time.

…as was Mexico’s. The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) likely won around 30% of midterm election votes, Mexico’s electoral institute said. PRI lost support overall but is expected to retain majority support in parliament thanks to its alliance with two other parties. Violent protests were seen in some parts of the country.

China’s trade data slumped. Exports fell 2.8% in May from a year earlier, better than an expected 4% drop but marking the third consecutive month of declines; imports had their seventh consecutive drop. The weak imports coincides with slowing domestic investment growth.

Japan’s GDP growth was revised up. A recalculation of business spending meant the economy likely grew at an annualized 3.9% in the first quarter. That easily beat expectations of 2.7% growth, and will boost confidence in the government’s attempts to increase business and household spending.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile. The Cold War-era Scud missile was fired across the border by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, potentially signaling an escalation in the fighting between the rebels and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi military has led a coalition of forces against the rebels since March.

Quartz obsession interlude

Omar Mohammed on foolish hopes that FIFA’s overhaul will return soccer back to Europe. “Football’s spirit has not been purely European for a long time now. A brief cursory glance at the top leagues shows just how non-European the game has become.” Read more.

Matters of debate

Universities are becoming multinational corporations. More institutions are creating branch campuses in foreign countries.

Bitcoin is entering the boring era. The days of pirates and pioneers are over—it’s all rich kids and investment managers now.

High-paying jobs of the future will kill your free time. It used to be that the lowest paid worked the longest hours, but that’s changing.

The US has lived with austerity far longer than Europe. Americans have no safety nets like public healthcare or paid leave.

Hong Kong is risking its reputation for sound management. It will eventually regret opening its stock market to mainland cash.

Surprising discoveries

A Russian farmer is in trouble for producing his own local currency. It is pegged at five “kolions” per bucket of potatoes.

A Japanese company taught its manufacturing robot to sword fight. It studied moves from a world-class iaijutsu master.

The Feds can charge you for deleting your browser history. A US man is facing obstruction of justice charges for doing just that.

Orson Welles once edited porn. The filmmaker, who argued ecstasy could never be captured on film, contributed a scene to 3am: The Time of Sexuality.

Scientists have found frogs the size of M&Ms. Measuring between 9-13mm, the new species is among the smallest vertebrates on the planet.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, illegitimate local currencies, and sword-fighting tips for robots to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.

home our picks popular latest obsessions search